Improve Your Diet and Increase Biotin Intake
Like so much of our outward appearance—from how clear our skin is to how shiny our hair is—our nail health begins with the nutrients we put in our body. Eating a well-balanced diet as well as increasing your biotin intake is your best bet for helping to strengthen your nails. Biotin is a B vitamin found in a variety of foods.
The highest amounts of biotin are found in animal proteins, like eggs, chicken, and salmon. However, you can also consume biotin in plant-based foods including nuts, seeds, spinach, and sweet potatoes. For comparison, an egg yolk contains approximately 10 micrograms of biotin while a serving of spinach has seven micrograms. I always recommend getting any vitamin and mineral naturally from your diet, as your body absorbs them better from diet than in a supplement form.
When Necessary, Take a Multivitamin
While biotin supplements are a buzzy product in the beauty space, they’re no longer seen by experts as the best option. Although dermatologists used to recommend biotin as an over-the-counter treatment to help strengthen nails, a 2017 FDA warning highlighted that biotin can interfere with lab tests—so we no longer encourage routine biotin supplementation, focusing more on a balanced diet.
However, if you have a biotin deficiency, taking biotin can help strengthen and nourish nails. Deficiencies in biotin can have an effect on hair, nails, and skin, which may be why many people increase their biotin intake to support healthy nails. Symptoms of biotin deficiency can include hair loss, dry scaly skin, rash around the mouth, eyes, and nose, and brittle fingernails. Biotin has been proven to help strengthen brittle nails, which in turn can help them grow.
Prioritizing real, vitamin-rich foods to get your nutrients. Your best bet is a healthy diet, and if you still feel like you need an extra boost, a daily multivitamin should be all you need to get the right amount of biotin for strong nails. Because biotin is water-soluble, meaning your body excretes what you don’t need, higher levels are typically okay to consume. However, that does not mean you should go out and take massive doses of biotin as your body can’t use it all.
Use a Strengthening Base Coat
It may seem counterintuitive, but nail polish can actually be beneficial to weak nails and even help prevent them from breaking—as long as it’s the right formula. Using a base coat with your polish can add an extra layer of protection, but unless you’re using a strengthening base coat, it’s more for the adherence of the polish versus improving nail health. One great option is côte Nail Strengthener Base and Top Coat ($21) to strengthen weak, thin, or splitting nails.
Another great option is the Tenoverten The Foundation Base Coat from Violet Grey ($18). It’s a more natural way to strengthen your nails as it is an “8-Free” formula, which means without the top eight chemicals, including dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde, that are in many nail polish formulas. For a budget-friendly option to strengthen your nails, check out Sally Hansen Mega Strength Hardener ($8).
Read more → Is it time to get a fantastic nail art ?